HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) – Police arrested four men, charging that they distributed 1.3 million stamped bags of heroin worth $13.5 million in Allegheny and Beaver counties Pennsylvania, Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Thursday.
The investigation, which spanned nine months, resulted in the seizure of approximately 25,000 stamped bags of heroin, $208,000 in cash and seven firearms.
Keith Lowe, 40, of Aliquipa, Zappula Lewis, 35, of Aliquipa, Meredith Darby, 59, of Monaca, and Sylvester Williams, 60, Aliquipa face multiple drug charges.
“We are committed to fighting the heroin epidemic in the Commonwealth and thank our partners for their continued assistance in crippling this heroin trafficking organization,” Kane said.
The investigation into the suspects began in July 2014. Agents say they discovered that Lowe was an “upper-level” heroin dealer and that because he didn’t have a driver license was using other individuals to transport the drug in and around Beaver County.
Further investigation revealed that Williams and Darby were allegedly couriers for Lowe. Meanwhile, Lewis allegedly acted as one of Lowe’s main distributors in Aliquippa.
A series of controlled purchases were made from Lowe, and as the investigation progressed, court-authorized wiretaps were utilized to determine the scope of the organization and to help identify Lowe’s suppliers.
Last November, after intercepting calls indicating Lowe was going to meet with a source and obtain a new supply, Lowe was observed meeting with that source and allegedly making an exchange for heroin.
A vehicle that was carrying Lowe and Williams was later stopped in Allegheny County, where agents said approximately 10,000 stamped bags of heroin were recovered from the trunk of the vehicle.
Agents also said they observed Lowe meeting with another source of heroin and obtaining a bag. Lowe was spotted placing that bag into a vehicle driven by Darby and occupied by Lewis, agents allege. The vehicle was also stopped in Allegheny County, where approximately 10,250 stamped bags of heroin were allegedly recovered from the trunk of the vehicle.
Lowe and Lewis are charged with three counts each of possession of heroin with intent to distribute; and one count each of corrupt organizations, conspiracy to engage in corrupt organizations and conspiracy to deliver heroin.
Darby and Williams are charged with two counts each of possession of heroin with intent to distribute; and one count each of corrupt organizations, conspiracy to engage in corrupt organizations and conspiracy to deliver heroin.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.